The letters to George Montagu (263 in number, of which one is now printed for the first time) have been collated with the originals in the possession of the Duke of Manchester, whose trustees kindly allowed the volume containing them to be temporarily deposited in the British Museum for that purpose. A comparison of the printed letters with the originals revealed the fact that Cunningham's text (in spite of his having had access to the originals)l is very incorrect. As in the case of the Mann letters, many passages have been suppressed, without any indication of the fact; but these are for the most part unfit for publication. One or two harmless passages, which have been scored through in the MS., and which Cunningham failed to decipher, have now been restored.
The arrangement of these letters hitherto followed is that of the bound volume containing the originals. This arrangement proves on investigation to be not always strictly chronological, no less than eleven letters being out of place, several of them to the extent of a year or more. The correct dates of these misplaced letters have been determined principally by means of internal evidence. The reasons for placing each particular letter have been stated at length, from time to time, in communications to the Academy (under the editorship of Mr. J. S. Cotton) and to Notes and Queries. ^References to these communications will be found in the notes to the several letters in question.
Of the 177 letters written by Horace Walpole to his cousin Henry Seymour Conway (Marshal Conway) twenty-four have been collated with the originals in the possession of Earl Waldegrave. Three other letters to Conway which are printed in the Journals and Correspondence of Miss Berry,
1 See Cunningham's edition, vol. ix, p. 499.